Are you thinking about applying for an online job?
Working remotely can be the ultimate luxury. If you’re lucky enough to score a remote position, you’ll likely enjoy a flexible schedule and the ability to work from any location.
What’s more, maybe you’re ready for a break from your traditional 9-5 office job.
Whatever the case, it’s important to keep several things in mind as you go about applying to online jobs.
In this post, we’ll give you a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know before you start going remote.
1. Take Your Time
You may feel comfortable applying to multiple online jobs in an afternoon. But applying to remote positions should be treated as seriously as applying to brick-and-mortar ones.
Take your time with the job search so that you can approach it feeling relaxed and confident.
New online job postings appear every day. If you shorten your job search window, you may miss out on exciting opportunities.
Time will also enable you to get a holistic perspective of what the remote work world actually looks like. The more well-versed you are in the industry, the greater your odds are of snagging a position you truly enjoy.
2. Know Where to Find Online Jobs
After you’ve set aside some time to apply to online jobs, let’s talk about where you can actually find these amazing positions.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed in the world of online job hunting. This is because, believe it or not, there are thousands of online positions available to job seekers, and many platforms to advertise them.
Spend an afternoon browsing online job platforms. Build a list of the ones that are user-friendly and appear to have a lot of listings for the positions you’re seeking.
Remember that you can discover remote positions on larger-scale job posting platforms like Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, and US Jobs.
There are also online positions listed on more freelance-oriented posting sites. Check out ProBlogger or MediaBistro, for example, if you’re a freelance writer or artist seeking remote positions.
You can even discover postings through your LinkedIn profile. In fact, we highly recommend setting up a LinkedIn profile. We discuss this more below.
Know what your open position sources are before you even begin searching for your dream job.
You may even want to download apps to your phone or sign up for email notifications so that you can always be in the know about recent job postings.
3. Search Strategically
Now it’s time for the part that everyone loves and hates: actually searching for online jobs.
Once again, it’s incredibly easy to get mired in the world of job listings, especially when it comes to remote positions.
Make your life easy by brainstorming job searches before you even enter an online portal. Take out a piece of paper and quickly jot down the industries you’d be interested in working remotely for. You may write down, for example, “editing” or “marketing.”
Next, jot down some keywords that reference more specific roles in these industries. You may write down “blogger” or “digital marketer” here.
Create a sheet full of all your possibilities. You can categorize search results for all of these positions once you start searching.
Now, enter these keywords into a job search site, making sure to type in “remote” for location, if requested. This is essential when finding online positions.
See what comes up, and get comfortable changing your keywords to hone your search further.
Start bookmarking the positions that interest you at first glance. Email these to your inbox or save them as bookmarks on the job site itself.
We’ll come back to these later.
4. Read the Fine Print
Now that you have some online jobs bookmarked, go through each posting on the company’s website itself.
This is key, as the company website is more likely to have more information. However, some postings only appear on a job listings platform.
Read all of the fine print, prioritizing what the employer says about salary, hours expected, qualifications and experience, and application materials.
This is essential, as many online jobs offer more flexible terms than hired positions. Some may be unpaid, while others offer payment on a contract basis.
Still, more may require that you work remotely but in a U.S. location. Make sure you gather all the details and discard any postings that don’t fit your requirements.
If the job posting seems rather slim, email the employer to ask for more information.
5. Develop a Competitive Resume
Your resume is your key to successfully landing an online position. As you research jobs, make note of the qualifications you need to stand out from the crowd.
You’ll be able to highlight these qualifications in cover letters and interviews down the road. What’s more, you’ll be able to tailor your resume according to what employers are looking for.
It’s possible to develop one version of your resume and use this for all positions you apply to. However, if you’re applying for different positions in different industries, make sure you have a resume designed for each one.
For example, when applying for an online software engineer position, you’ll want to pass along a resume that emphasizes your technology and engineering experience.
If you’re also applying for a blogging position, you’ll need to prove your qualifications for remote blogging work. Your resume should be concise, professional, and snappy. Ideally, it should fit on one page.
It should also include information that’s only relevant to the application itself. For help building a competitive resume, check out this guide from Ultimate Medical Academy.
On the same note, make sure you spend time writing a cover letter when applying to each online position. Don’t copy and paste the same cover letter for different positions; write an individual one addressing each position every time.
6. Build Online Profiles
Before you start applying to your chosen online jobs, spend some time developing and honing your online presence.
Employers seeking remote employees are comfortable doing a lot of things online. They’ll be likely to inspect any online profiles you have once they receive your application.
Make sure you have a solid LinkedIn profile. This is a valuable career network that can hook you up with some amazing online jobs in a matter of days.
If you have a website showcasing work of any kind, make sure it’s in top-notch condition before you apply.
You’ll also want to highlight any online publications that may exist in your resume, cover letter, and/or interview.
7. Check out Reviews
When you’ve developed a list of online jobs that sound great to you, spend some time scoping out the companies themselves.
Head on over to their websites to learn more about the company’s mission and goals. This information can be valuable for an interview down the road.
But also pay attention to the company’s credibility. You can do this by reading employee reviews or testimonials.
Many of these are available on Glassdoor for a variety of positions. Give these reviews special weight. After all, they may give you the best sense of what it’s like to have a specific remote position.
8. Understand the Difference Between Contract Work and Hire
Many online jobs are part-time or contract, rather than hired positions.
Make sure you know the difference between these types of employment options. Contract work means that any remote work you perform will be done as an independent contractor.
You aren’t an official employee in this sense, and your paychecks won’t have taxes taken out of them. You’ll have to pay taxes on this income the following year, however.
Hired positions mean that you’re an actual employee, with immediately taxable income. You may be entitled to benefits as an employee, such as health care.
Make sure you know what type of work you’ll be performing for a prospective employer.
9. Be Wary of Scams
Unfortunately, the world of online jobs can be murky to navigate. It’s possible to encounter scams or otherwise shady companies looking for cheap work.
If possible, try to work with companies that are based in your country. They should have an accessible website and real humans to consult.
Don’t pass over any personal bank information until you have had an interview and a position secured.
Understand and clarify all terms of your employment before you accept a job.
10. Talk to Someone in the Industry
It can be tough applying for online jobs. If you’re struggling to get hired, it can be helpful to talk to someone who’s already in the industry.
Talk to family and friends and see if you can identify a mentor. You may also want to check out co-working spaces in your area.
These spaces provide remote workers office space in which to collaborate. You may find some “coworkers” with valuable insight into how to navigate the world of remote work.
11. Be Prepared to Seek Multiple Positions
Lastly, it may not be possible to snag a full-time remote position out of the gate. Don’t be discouraged if this is the case.
Be prepared to seek multiple positions in the beginning. A lot of people successfully maintain several online jobs at once to generate a steady income.
Being flexible is your key to success with a remote position of any kind.
What to Know When Applying for Online Positions
Working remotely has its benefits. When searching for online positions, make sure you do so strategically and with an open mind.
Know your job listing platforms and brainstorm searches before you conduct them. Always develop a specific resume and cover letter for certain positions.
Last but not least, take your time!
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